I spent the better half of today finishing a book that I really didn’t want to finish. It’s Molly Wizenberg’s, A Homemade Life, and it’s a winner. This book has been on my list for quite some time now, but I bumped it to the top since I started blogging. Molly has a blog that I have found myself looking at everyday during my morning routine of coffee, cereal, aol/yahoo/gmail/gwmail, facebook, orangette. In that order. Her writing is delicious and her thoughts, analogies, and life remind me so much of… me. There were several times throughout the book when I felt like I was reading about myself. A very strange feeling to say the least. As I was reading, it felt like she was talking to me like a good friend would. I was fully immersed in the pages. I caught a severe case of the giggles around page 40 and by page 145 I was trying to control sobs… some of it was all too real for me. And by the very last page I felt in love with food, with Paris, with words and with Brandon (her husband). I’ve never been a fan of the idea of cloning things (except when I was 12 and my cat, Rudy, died. I kept one of his whiskers so I could clone him… I kid you not), but now I’m thinking again that cloning might not be so bad if I could have a Brandon sent to my doorstep. ANYWAYS I couldn’t recommend this book more to anyone who loves food, or who loves life for that matter. I can’t remember a time I have so thoroughly enjoyed a book more.
Another big reason I love this book so much is because of the banana bread it inspired. I am a big fan. Growing up, I loved seeing the disgustingly blackened bananas on the counter top at home because I knew of their fate. I only know two people who don’t like bananas. One being my mom. She thinks it’s because she ate too many as a kid. I think it's because she’s crazy… or maybe there’s a genetic mutation to blame because my sister is the only other person who would not eat a banana for a million dollars. Not only does she hate bananas, she gets particularly PISSED if she hears you eating one, even from the other side of the room, or behind a brick wall. It's one thing to not like bananas, but it’s a whole other thing to not like banana bread. Like it’s ok if you don’t like tomatoes (I guess), but you’d have to be crazy/un-American to not like ketchup.
I adapted this recipe for banana bread from A Homemade Life. I love adapting recipes because then I don’t feel guilty taking full credit for the great outcome, and calling them my own. Here I’ve created the practicing foodies own banana bread. I’ve always thought you can tell a great bakery by its banana bread. I became a regular at an American bakery in Florence after I had their banana bread… and because it was the only place to get a big cup of coffee. I became a regular at Doan’s in Los Angeles after a slice of banana bread and a latte. And If I were you… I would become a regular of this blog after making this banana bread. My experiment was such a success the first try; I am tempted to make this little loaf my practicing foodie mascot. Worthy of having its portrait put on a flag and hung from the streetlights lining my street.
These days I find myself happily hiding bananas in the far depths of my pantry to be forgotten and found a week later, my neglect nursing them to full term. But since I really can’t forget about the hidden yellow gems in the pantry, I have made an addition to my morning routine… coffee, cereal, aol/yahoo/gmail/gwmail, facebook, orangette, banana check. Nothing beats the morning when I wake up to find the banana bunch ripe with age spots and begging to be mashed.
In the past banana bread has always been a struggle for me. I always took it out of the oven far too soon because I was afraid the top would brown too much. While the butt’s of bread are my favorite parts, its nice to have a loaf cooked through the middle too. I’ve made this banana bread several times now and it has turned out moist, tender, and absolutely fabulous each time. The trick is to place some tin foil over the top if you think it is browning too much. I usually place it over when there is about 10 minutes left of cooking time, but you may not have too.
- 3 Tbls unsalted butter, melted
- 1 c. almond flour (I found almond flour at Trader Joe’s, if you can’t find it, all-purpose will work too… but it won't be as fabulous)
- 1 c. all purpose flour
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 ½ oz. 72% dark chocolate, chopped fine (or any grade of dark chocolate)
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ c. mashed bananas (3 bananas)
- ¼ c. 2% greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Melt the butter in the microwave slowly, set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate and whisk to combine well.
In another bowl beat the eggs together with a fork a bit. Add the mashed bananas, yogurt, butter, and vanilla and mix well.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and gently mix/fold until just combined.
Scrape the batter into loaf pan
Bake until loaf is a deep golden color on top and a toothpick comes out clean. About 50-60 minutes